On the surface, every wedding has its share of stress. From the wedding gown to the bridesmaids’ dresses to make-up and hair, it’s a confusing and sometimes daunting process to pull off the perfect celebration of love. People often overlook what happens behind the scenes to make the flawless wedding come to life, and that includes what the bride has going on under her gorgeous gown.
That's why today we're getting intimate and going under the dress with bras, panties, slips and lingerie. This is your guide to understanding wedding undergarments and finding the best fit for you and your big day.
The undergarments you wear before, during, and after can have a great effect on the success of your wedding day. Taking your time to understand your needs and what best fits your unique style and fashion will go a long way to making your wedding day the best it can be.
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Undergarments To Wear When Wedding Dress Shopping
Shopping for your wedding dress can be a daunting task, but it can be a helpful experience if done right. First, you have to understand what will happen when you walk in that bridal shop door. The salespeople at the store will greet you and ask questions about your size and style expectations. Then, they will likely bring out some dresses for you to try on in a fitting room. You may need someone to help you into your dress, so it is usually best to bring along some family or friends to get in on the fun.
Wearing the right undergarments is a top concern while dress shopping. Consider what type of dress you have in mind, and plan accordingly. You wouldn’t want to wear an over-the-shoulder bra under your strapless wedding dress. You should also consider your body type and whether you want to wear Spanx or other body contour undergarments. If you wear them while you dress shop, you will get a more accurate picture of your dress.
Finally, if you are flexible about the kind of dress you want, consider not wearing any undergarments while dress shopping. Often the stores also sell bridal undergarments, so you can pair the right set with the right dress. Going undergarment-less will help you be flexible in seeing yourself in many different kinds of dresses.
Slip: What Type Should You Wear Under Your Gown?
You may not know it, but most dresses you see in the catalogs and on the mannequins are being filled out with undergarments as well. If you fall in love with the way a dress is shaped in the picture, it may be impossible to replicate that shape in real life without a little help.
Wearing a slip is one of the most popular ways to achieve smooth definition and support in your dress. But not all slip and dress combinations are created equal. Here we’ve highlighted which slip you should wear based on the style of you dress.
Follow these tips and you’re sure to love the way you look throughout your special day.
Mermaid & Trumpet
This style of dress is popular for its show stopping effect and fitted lines. If you want a break from the traditional gown, a fitted and flared mermaid or trumpet style dress is one way to show off your figure. Those snug fabrics can also be a bit of a nightmare when it comes to hiding lines from your undergarments and feeling comfortable enough to dance the night away.
Since these dresses are usually clingy from the chest to the knee, this is the problem area. Without a slip, it’s highly likely the dress will reveal underwear lines and other unwanted shapes.
Slip Advice: Choose a slip that will enhance your silhouette and create a seamless appearance from tip to tow.
Fabric Tip: Supportive fabrics such as spandex and lycra will give you lift and control where you need it most.
One of the most classic styles for wedding dresses; A-line gowns feature a full skirts and fitted bodices that create a silhouette in the shape of a capital "A". The cut looks gorgeous on many different body types and is a popular choice for modern brides, despite its classical look. Since the skirt is designed to fall smoothly away from the bust line to a full hem, slips are often needed to fill out the fabric and achieve the desired look.
- A well-worn slip will eliminate those pesky underwear lines and fill out the body of the skirt to give it a more professional look.
- Medium fullness slips are the most popular choices for these dresses, but you can always go with a little less depending on your body type.
- If you want a crisp structure, you can opt for a very full slip that will add wideness to your A-line look.
For all the Disney princess fans out there, a ball gown style dress is a dream come true! This dress type resembles the A-line from above with a fitted bodice and full skirt design. However, this dress is much more filled out and goes beyond the A-shaped skirt look.
The fullness in these dresses is usually attributed to the inclusion of additional layers of fabric like tulle, taffeta, or organza and sometimes petticoats. All of these combine to lift the skirt outwards to create a dazzling finish.
Slip Advice: If you’ve gone in for this elegant gown style, you will most likely need some bolstering underneath to keep the skirt looking its best. You might consider having a hoop underneath your slip to give it more structure. With all of that fabric, you will want to choose a light yet sturdy slip that won’t trip you up as you glide along. Having the extra support from a hoop can keep the fabric from bunching between your legs as you dance and greet your guests.
Sheath / Column Dresses
You might think that a sheath dress would be the easiest type to style, but for most of us this isn’t the case. Sure, a sheath (or column) dress is less forgiving for various body types, but it doesn’t require the support that a ball gown style does. There are still some areas where a sheath dress needs a little support.
This style is adored for its flowing lines as it falls straight down from the neckline to the hem, usually floor length. These dresses can show off your curves with a figure-hugging fabric, or they might flow loosely without too much definition. The ideal look is to let the dress fall naturally over the parts of your body you’d like to accentuate. With the help of a slip, you can make sure the dress compliments your body type well without drawing attention to areas you’d rather not show.
Slip Advice: When it comes to sheath/column dresses, its all about choosing seamless shapewear that will avoid showing any lines.
Fabric Tips: Flowing and comfortable fabrics like silk can help you achieve the seamless look in this style of dress.
When opting for a shorter dress, such as the classic tea length style, a slip can provide both comfort and support to keep you feeling your best. This style of dress will generally have a fitted bodice with a full or flowing skirt that ends in a hem just below the knee. The look is a traditional cut with an air of elegance.
Slip Advice: If the skirt on your tea length dress is full and flouncy, you will want to find a slip that keeps that structure all day long. With the shorter hem however, you have to be careful that the slip doesn’t hang down below when standing or sitting. It’s a good idea to try on your medium to full slip while doing both to make sure it is felt but not seen.
Bra: What to wear under your wedding dress
Most gals rotate between everyday bras and sports bras, and that’s it. But when it comes to formal wear like your wedding gown, normal just doesn’t cut it.
It all comes down to neckline when choosing which bra is right for you and your dress style. We’ve gone through the most popular necklines to help you decide which bra style is correct. Take a look at a few different options to decide what fits your style and desired comfort and support levels.
This should help you when dress shopping if you already know what type of bra will work best with your dream gown.
With a strapless gown, there is really only one way to go. Many women balk at the idea of a strapless bra for their wedding since they are notoriously difficult to size correctly.
We recommend discussing it with your dress consultant and trying multiple options to find what works best for you.
There are options such as this strapless, fabric bra (pictured) that we love, but they may not be right for everyone. We love this molded, seamless strapless option that offers a bit of adhesive to keep you supported.
Finding a bra in your size that matches either your dress or your skin tone can be difficult, but it’s not impossible.
With a strapless gown, you’ll want to choose a bra that offers the support you need to keep you feeling secure.
Halter / One Shoulder
Going with a halter or asymmetrical neckline can cause nightmares when trying to find a bra that remains hidden, while still offering support. Luckily, more and more companies are creating these versatile undergarments as dress trends continue to change.
If your dream dress has a one shoulder or halter neckline, you’ll want to find a bra (like the one pictured here) that follows the lines of the dress perfectly. If you’re not used to wearing bras in this style, it might be a bit of an adjustment. However, we’ve found that these styles can be even more comfortable than the traditional bra. If you go dress shopping with this neckline in mind, consider bringing along a bra to match. This will let you see what the dresses look like with a little more support.
Dress With Corset
Wearing a bra under your corset style dress is optional and a matter of personal preference.
For some body types, a corset may be all you need to give you the lift and support you need. But if you require a bit more, there are a few options open to you.
Underbust corsets and regular corsets on those with larger chest sizes will require extra support.
We recommend underwire bras that compliment the neckline of your dress. This seamless and thin option could help to fill out your corset and provide the bolstering needed to complete the look.
It’s always fun to go with a plunging neckline on your wedding gown. This daring style is the perfect way to show off your personality while looking absolutely stunning.
When you start looking into this style of dress, choosing the perfect bra has to be at the top of your to-do list.
Luckily, the options are out there. Depending on how deep your neckline is, you may choose to go with a bra that has no connection in the front at all.
However, most brides will find that this low line bra we’ve featured works perfectly with their gown. Don’t be afraid to ask the shopkeepers at your local dress store for a few options to try on. You won’t know how you feel in this style until you give it a try. We love this deep plunge bra because it offers a seamless line with multiple sizes and shades.
If you want to rock that low cut neckline, don’t let the fear of finding the right bra hold you back. It may take a little longer, but you’ll be happy you put in the effort to find the right fit for your body and your style.
Backless / Keyhole / Illusion
With backless dresses and other unique styles, bras can be a little tricky to fit. You obviously don’t want to have any straps or fabric showing during your ceremony or reception.
Going with a backless bra generally means that you will need an adhesive of some sort. You can always choose a self-adhering bra if you find that to be a comfortable option. You can also use glue, tape, and other methods to keep the bra in place.
This bra we’re recommending is the perfect example of a typical backless bra. It features adhesive lined, foam cups. This is a comfortable option that provides coverage, but not much support.
You don’t necessarily need a bra when wearing a backless dress. If you are small chested or don’t require as much support, there is no rule that says a bra is required. Find what makes you feel the most comfortable and go with it.
There is no right way to have the perfect wedding!
Longline Bra Vs. Sewn In Bra Cups Vs. Sticky Bra
Longline bras are not the most common type of undergarment, but there are some brides who swear by them. If you’ve never tried one on, you’ve probably seen them in catalogue.
Generally, they are the exact same as a typical bra on the top with just a bit of extra fabric around the mid-section. This extra fabric works to give you a smoother appearance and trim the lines of your abdomen. If you’re looking for your bra to give you a slimming effect, a longline might be the perfect hack.
Sewn in bra cups are additions that can be easily added to your dress. Some dresses might even come with these already added.
They allow for extra padding that helps fill out the dress for anyone who worries there many not be enough there naturally. This is especially helpful for small chested women who do not want to wear a bra. If you are in this position, sewn in cups might be enough coverage and support for you.
If you’re looking for extra volume, you might like having them on top of also wearing a bra.
Sticky bras are a fun option that can help keep everything smooth without the need for straps and excess fabric.
They are a bit odd to get used to, which means you might want to give them a test run before committing to wearing one for a full day.
If you are fairly small chested and don’t plan on sweating much during the day, then this should be a perfectly acceptable option.
The downsides are that they sometimes do not offer the best support and can lose their sticking power when things heat up.
Shapewear for under your wedding dress
Shape wear is the magic that brings the wedding dress look together into that perfect silhouette and memorable appearance. If you’ve never worn any shapewear before, you will be shocked at the difference it can make on your shape and the way fabrics fall across it.
Want to slim down your bulky midriff, fill out your bust, or hide that stubborn back fat? Shape wear can help.
Let’s take a look at the most common types and how they can help you achieve your ideal shape and have you ready to walk down the aisle in no time.
Choosing to go with the full bodysuit when looking at shape wear will give you the most coverage and a smooth appearance.
While this type of undergarment might not be for everyone, it can certainly boost your confidence and help you fill out your dream dress the way you want.
A full body shape wear will often help to lift and support your breasts, flatten your stomach, shape your rear, and smooth your thighs beneath the fabric.
Many brides swear by this tactic and have had great success with wearing a full body piece of shapewear underneath their stunning A-line and sheath gowns.
Briefs may not feel very sexy, but if you’re looking to have a smooth abdomen and hide away that bulky midriff they will quickly become your best friend!
Spanx Undie-tectable Briefs can take the perfect dress from too snug to just right in a matter of seconds.
If you’re worried about lines showing through with the underwear you normally would wear, briefs might be the better choice. Since they offer more coverage, they will make it less noticeable that you’re wearing anything at all underneath your mermaid dress or any other style where you want your mid-section to look flawless.
We talked about slips above and let you know which types are best when paired with certain dress types. If you’re still trying to decide if slips are right for you, consider the ways they will impact your overall body shape.
Slips will make everything flow together with less bumps and seams along the way.
If you’re worried about having an irregular silhouette, a slip will help the fabric to float along your body no matter how many curves you have.
The classic spanx can do wonders for your shape.
Stop obsessing over whether your thighs will distract from the rest of your gorgeous dress; with a little bit of spanx magic you can help everything look its best.
If you feel like your butt is too flat or not shapely enough, spanx can help plum you up or slim you down. Whatever your desired look, the formfitting power of spanx will help you achieve your ideal look.
Spanx are perfect for helping you fill out your ball gown dress in the best way.
Compression Style / Waist Cincher
]Using a compression style waist cincher is one way to make sure your form fitting dress holds its shape and looks amazing.
Any dress style that’s form fitting around the waist can benefit from this simple shape wear.
If you’re worried about showing too many curves around your abdomen, this type of compressing material can help create smooth lines that will keep your dress flowing perfectly.
The corset is one of the sexier options when it comes to shapewear. For something that will give you the support you want AND can go straight from the reception to the honeymoon, a corset is the ideal choice.
They are generally used to help create that hourglass shape many women admire.
Wearing a corset can also help boost your cleavage and curb some of your bulky midriff.
If you want to wear a dress with more of a plunging neckline, then an under bust corset might be best for you.
These corsets will help lift your bust, slim your waist, and flatten your abdomen.
When would a bride need to wear shapewear?
The word “need” here is definitely not a hard rule. Every body is beautiful and whatever makes you feel the most comfortable is what you should be wearing on your wedding day. That being said, there is no shame in wanting to wear shape wear to help you achieve the look you want.
Some brides might need extra help filling out their dresses. Shapewear can help you fill in as well as tone down the areas you are unsatisfied with. If you’re a bride in the middle of a weight loss journey or recovering from labor and delivery then shapewear can help you with the areas of your body that may have changed since your last dress fitting.
There are many reasons you might end up wearing shapewear on your big day but the most important reason is that it makes you feel your best.
Wedding Undergarments FAQ
Weddings are always full of a thousand questions, and no topic has more uncertainties than what to wear. From what undergarments are best to the topic of boob tape, wedding wardrobe questions are an important topic. Here are some of our top general tips for your wedding wardrobe.
1. Do you have to wear white under your wedding dress?
This is one of those oldest and most confusing questions. There are a variety of options here, and they definitely don’t have to be just white.
You can try to match your underwear to your skin tone, so that it blends into your skin under your dress. Brighter colors are also fine too, there are no hard and fast rules about this. Just make sure you check to see how that underwear photographs under your dress if you don’t want it to show through in pictures
2. What is a Crinoline? Why should I wear one?
A crinoline is a cage-like structure worn under the skirt to provide lift and fullness to skirts. They were originally constructed using whalebone, steel, and even horsehair. The idea of wearing a crinoline might make you think of horse drawn carriages and wedding parties clad in bonnets and feathered fans, but it’s not so outdated as you might think.
If your dress is made using heavy fabrics or contains a full skirt, such as a ball gown, then a crinoline might be necessary.
Thankfully, the modern versions are much less harrowing. If you find yourself wanting to add that extra pop of structure and support you won’t need any whales to do so!
3. Boob Tape – does it work?
Boob tape has become a popular tool to help brides lift and shape their breasts to look their best under their dress. It really is effective in getting the desired look for brides, and reliably stays together strongly throughout the whole ceremony and reception.
A few boob tape considerations:
- Before you use the tape, test it on a small part of your skin to make sure you don’t have a latex allergy, because you don’t want to find that out the day of your wedding.
- Sweat and heat are also the enemy of boob tape, so if you have an outdoor reception or sweat a lot, you may want to take some extra precautions or your tape may come unglued.
4. What kind of underwear should I wear under my dress?
What you wear under your dress is just as important as the dress itself. It might not seem glamorous or romantic, but your most comfortable pair of granny panties are your best bet for under your wedding dress. You will likely be wearing that dress for hours on end, and you will be standing, sitting and dancing for long amounts of time, and the sexy pair of lacy undergarments will make that an unpleasant experience. Save those for the wedding night.
5. Do I really need to wear a bra?
This is totally your own choice. You don’t really have to wear a bra under your dress because It depends on the type of dress you are wearing. Many dresses come with a corset or a bra built into them, meaning a bra would be pretty redundant in that case. Your body type is also important. If you are a smaller-chested lady, you might not need the extra support from a bra. But if you are a bigger-chested woman who might miss the support, a bra might be the right way to go. Again, this question is totally up to you and your own needs.
6. What to wear under a robe while getting ready?
The primary concern here is comfort. Pick something that you will be comfortable wearing because you will probably be sitting in it for a while getting ready.
You should also think about whether you are having any behind the scene photographs or videos taken while you are getting ready. In that case you are going to want to wear something you comfortable being photographed in.
Lastly, try to stick to something you don’t have to pull over your head, like a button up shirt. You don’t want to work on getting your hair and make-up perfect just to mess it up getting your shirt off.
Phew! Thanks for reading our massive guide to wedding undergarments! We hope we are able to help you for your wedding day and everafter. 🙂